Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) drew headlines this week by calling on President Trump to resign and expressing a willingness to consider articles of impeachment, respectively, in the wake of the riot that shook the Capitol on Wednesday. But several other Republicans, both within and outside Congress, have suggested they’re opposed to another Trump impeachment trial.
The general reasoning is that, after the violent scene at the Capitol, working to remove Trump less than two weeks before his term is set to end would only exacerbate tensions across the country. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, both argued impeachment would hurt efforts to “unite,” “heal,” and “start over.””
Former Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who retired in 2019, also thinks his old colleagues should hold off, though his reasoning differed slightly. Corker said he is “anxious” to see Trump leave the White House and wants him to resign, but added he doesn’t “want to ever see him come back,” alluding to rumors that Trump is planning a 2024 run. By impeaching and failing to convict Trump, Corker fears, Congress may allow him to market himself as a victim, further riling up his supporters.
Former GOP Sen. Bob Corker: “The thing about an impeachment is he becomes a victim again, & whether he ends up trying to run again in ’24 & let’s say the impeachment’s not successful, which I don’t recommend, all you’re doing is strengthening him with the people who support him.” pic.twitter.com/BONwEfPQW4
— The Hill (@thehill) January 9, 2021
Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Trump ally, said impeachment would be “offensive” to the peaceful transition of power Trump has committed to, although critics believe that argument doesn’t have much standing at this point.
We kind of whiffed on the whole peaceful transition of power thing. We can try again next time but people should probably stop using that phrase to describe this one. https://t.co/dx9ifLvYGf
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 9, 2021